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Offline Greymatters

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Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
« Reply #75 on: May 29, 2007, 11:02:13 »
There is a disconnect here somewhere.  If this is bad for the population, why does the news article include an AFP photo with the caption: "Many Venezuelans back Mr Chavez's decision"? 


Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
« Reply #76 on: May 29, 2007, 12:30:28 »
The MSM seem to be supporting Chavez.

Offline DBA

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Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
« Reply #77 on: May 29, 2007, 14:25:21 »
There is a disconnect here somewhere.  If this is bad for the population, why does the news article include an AFP photo with the caption: "Many Venezuelans back Mr Chavez's decision"? 

There is allways some support for censorship from the side not being censored. It can feel empowering to silence critics of your position right up until you find yourself on the wrong side of some issue and realize the consequences of losing this freedom. In western countries some lament about how the press is biased or presents material to shape an issue but that is nothing compared to the facade created in countries without a free press where everything is government controlled. In any country without a free press any and all information about it should be considered highly suspect. That means any comparisons between them and countries with a free press should be taken with a grain of salt.
It is not worth an intelligent man's time to be in the majority.  By definition, there are already enough people to do that. --  G.H. Hardy

Offline Greymatters

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Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
« Reply #78 on: May 29, 2007, 17:30:18 »
This was an article by the BBC...

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
« Reply #79 on: May 29, 2007, 18:59:18 »
At the time I couldnt find any US articles because the US media supports Chavez and his drive to silence his critics and to control the Venezuelan media. Chavez is well on the way to creating a communist society - unless he is stopped by the people. Its pretty telling that the protests began with college students and have spread to high school students.

Offline Freddy G

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Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
« Reply #80 on: May 29, 2007, 19:14:12 »
Is anyone really surprised that a lefitst paradise is quickly slipping into dictatorship? Cuba, anyone?
My posts are my opinion alone and do not reflect any other person or group's opinion... because you can't handle the truth, and deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me to say these things.

Offline dapaterson

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Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
« Reply #81 on: May 29, 2007, 19:28:46 »
Yes, Freddy G, let's go for broad generalizations.

For example: Is anyone surprised that a military officer, after a failed coup d'etat, has installed himself as a dictator?


To simplistically associate the left with dictatorships ignores a great deal of history.

I'd also argue that the US media has not been uniformly supportive of Chavez' assault on the media and other Venezuelan structures - see for example the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/world/international-venezuela-television.html) which states in part

Quote
Tens of thousands of Venezuelans marched in Caracas in a fourth consecutive day of protests over Chavez's closure of the RCTV network - a move which has sparked international criticism that the leftist leader's reforms are undermining democracy.
...
Since coming to power in 1999, Chavez has won the support of the nation's poor majority with a multi-billion dollar social spending program, financed by the nation's oil revenues, that helped him win a landslide re-election last year.

But his critics say his moves to centralize power, politicize key institutions like the military, judiciary and oil industry threaten democracy. He is forging a single governing party, ruling by decree and considering abolishing limits on how many terms a president can serve.

Hardly fawning praise...
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
« Reply #82 on: May 31, 2007, 01:48:15 »
http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2007/05/its-war-chavista-thugs-shoot-up.html
Video of street demonstrations - Red capped civilians carrying guns firing on "student" demonstrators throwing molotovs.  Chavez may be losing his grip. 

Chilean President (elected as a leftist) condemns Chavez.
http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2007/05/venezuelan-protests-continue-chilean.html
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Offline Greymatters

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Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
« Reply #83 on: June 01, 2007, 12:18:47 »
Just to show both sides of the situation...

Mayor of London supports Chavez and chastizes Bush Administration
http://www.vicuk.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=60&Itemid=29

Reasons why the government shut down the RCTV
http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news.php?newsno=2182

Offline FifthHorse

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Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
« Reply #84 on: June 01, 2007, 13:39:06 »
I found this article rather interesting; it is a bit of a read but well written and makes some good arguments. The idea of ‘violin politics’, that Chavez is holding or maintaining power with the Left  while actually playing/governing with the Right raises what I believe to be a valid point concerning the true nature of these so called ‘socialist’ regimes.

New Threats to Freedom: Democracy’s “Doubles” by Ivan Krastev
http://www.cls-sofia.org/uploaded/1146585071__4__krastev_pp_52-62.pdf

“In Venezuela, as Javier Corrales puts it, Chávez “has virtually eliminated
the contradiction between autocracy and political competitiveness.” Having discovered that he can concentrate power more easily in the context of a strident opposition than of a banned opposition, he has refashioned authoritarianism for a democratic age. His strategy is to attack political parties, to polarize society, to spread the wealth selectively, to foster the decline of bureaucracy, to encourage a dysfunctional state, and constantly to change the rules of the game. Chávez practices democracy as a regime of controlled chaos, and by antagonizing the U.S. hyperpower he gains a source of domestic and international legitimacy.”
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Offline S.M.A.

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Russian Subs for Venezeula
« Reply #85 on: July 19, 2007, 15:08:37 »
I did a search under"Russian subs for Venezuela" and found no matches. Mods, if this article has already been posted under a similar topic, please repost.

This is yet another reminder of the recent spending spree on Russian equipment Chavez has been in engaged with- these subs are just the latest items on his list.

http://www.military.com/forums/0,15240,142817,00.html?wh=wh


Quote
Russian Subs for Venezuela
Norman Polmar | July 18, 2007
Venezuela has placed a preliminary order for five advanced diesel-electric submarines with Rosoboronexport, Russia's arms export company. The submarines will be of the Project 877EKM or Varshavyanka series, known in the West as the Kilo class.

The announcement came during the visit of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez -- known for his strong anti-U.S. views -- to Moscow earlier this month to discuss additional weapons purchases and wider economic ties with Russia. Upon his arrival in the Russian capital he declared, “If the United States attacks Venezuela, we are ready to die defending our sacred land."

Chavez continued, "We support Russia, we need Russia, which is becoming stronger day by day." He added that Venezuela intended to continue cooperating closely with Moscow, including in the military sphere.

After visiting Russia and meeting with President Vladimir Putin, Chavez planned to go on to Belarus and then to Iran, where both governments are portrayed by the U.S. government as outlaw regimes. Chavez had previously visited Iran. (He has also made several highly publicized trips to Cuba.)

In conjunction with Chavez’s trip to Russia, Konstantin Makiyenko, Deputy Director of the Center for the Analysis of Strategies and Technologies, said: "Most likely, [Venezuela] will buy five. . . submarines with missile systems... but they could end up buying nine."

The Project 636/877 submarines are advanced diesel-electric submarines, which first entered service with the Russian Navy in 1981. Similar submarines are in service with the Algerian, Chinese, Indian, Indonesian, Iranian, Polish, and Romanian navies. (The Venezuelan Navy now operates two German-built Type 209/1300 diesel-electric submarines.)

Reportedly, Chavez is also negotiating with Russia for the purchase of an advanced air-defense system.

Last year Chavez signed agreements for the purchase of Russian-made helicopter gunships, fighter aircraft, and small arms for a total of $3 billion.

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Offline 3rd Herd

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Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
« Reply #86 on: July 19, 2007, 17:25:28 »
A littlemore Cougar. This has been going since February:

".............However, the deal was delayed last year when the United States objected to the sale, enforcing a policy that foreign companies must seek Washington's approval when selling U.S.-made military technology.

Venezuela is currently trying to work out a deal with Spain to swap out the U.S. parts in the 10 aircraft from Spanish company EADS-CASA and eight boats.

Though Chavez officials maintain the recent efforts to bolster the country's military capabilities are essential, some consider the expenditure a waste of revenue that could be used to alleviate the strain of chronic poverty in Venezuela..........................."But Chavez is keen on ramping up his country's defenses using a windfall of petroleum dollars that have filled state coffers in recent years. Having already spent a significant portion of that money on education and health programs for Venezuela's impoverished, the leftist leader has set his sights on becoming the continent's military superpower.

The latest effort in procuring new military capabilities involves the acquisition of a fleet of submarines to protect Venezuela's interest in its exclusive economic zone, which Caracas maintains consists of a large portion of the Caribbean.

Protecting an area that large would require far more vessels than the two German submarines -- both over 30 years old -- the Venezuelan military currently employs. The country's navy is reportedly keen on purchasing nine additional submarines, for a total of 11 vessels. The additions would give Venezuela the largest submarine fleet in Latin America, surpassing those maintained by neighboring Brazil and Chile....................Now Caracas has its sights set on buying Moscow's air defense missiles, known as the Tor-M1 system, which consists of eight missiles in a battery mounted to a launch vehicle. The system can reportedly target objects up to 2,000 ft and has a range of several miles.

The missiles would be for "air defense" only, said a Venezuelan military official last month in an interview with the Associated Press, a notion that comports with Chavez's warning of a possible U.S. invasion. The Bush administration repeatedly denies it has any such designs on Venezuela....................That Chavez sees himself as a modern-day version of Bolivar, readying his country to wage war against U.S. oppressors, is what inspired him to fortify Venezuela's defenses for a battle he claims Washington is already planning, noted Pike."(Venezuela Preparing for 'Asymmetrical' Showdown With U.S. Carmen Gentile | Bio | 17 Feb 2007 World Politics Review Exclusive
http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/article.aspx?id=555


My question is do not We play in some of those waters ? Next are we going to get a ring side seat towards the viability of some of our own polices ? Are the Venezuela dieseals as good as our given the rumored headaches we have given MarPac ? Also it was interesting to note the countries that got the military dolphines.




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Offline 3rd Herd

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Re: Russian Subs for Venezeula
« Reply #87 on: August 16, 2007, 21:49:32 »

This is yet another reminder of the recent spending spree on Russian equipment Chavez has been in engaged with- these subs are just the latest items on his list.

Another item:
The usual disclaimer:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/16/world/europe/16russia.html?ref=world#

Chávez’s Bid for Russian Arms Pains U.S.
By C. J. CHIVERS
Published: August 16, 2007

MOSCOW, Aug. 15 — A proposed contract between Russia and Venezuela that could transfer thousands of sniper rifles to Venezuela has raised concerns in the United States about the potential use or regional distribution of the weapons by the socialist-inspired government of President Hugo Chávez.
The rifles are the latest variant of the Dragunov, a long-barreled, semiautomatic design with a telescopic sight. It is derived in part from the much more widely circulated Kalashnikov assault rifle.

First manufactured in 1963 for use by militaries and intelligence agencies in the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact nations, the Dragunov and its clones have become among the most lethal and effective weapons against American troops and their allies in Iraq.

Venezuela is negotiating a contract with Rosoboronexport, the Kremlin-controlled arms export agency, to purchase about 5,000 modernized Dragunov rifles, according to officials at Izhmash, the rifle’s manufacturer.

Venezuela has about 34,000 soldiers in its army and 23,000 in its national guard, according to estimates by Jane’s Information Group, which analyzes military forces and regional risks.

Because sniper rifles are specialized infantry weapons and not typically issued to large numbers of soldiers, diplomats and military officers and analysts said, a purchase of several thousand Dragunovs would not seem to have a conventional military use for Venezuela’s armed forces.

“Sales like this, and other sales of military equipment and arms to Venezuela, don’t seem consistent with Venezuela’s needs,” David J. Kramer, deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, said by telephone.

“It does raise questions about their ultimate use,” he added. “We’re not sure what their purpose would be.”

Mark Joyce, the Americas editor for Jane’s Country Risk, part of Jane’s Information Group, said that a purchase of thousands of sniper rifles would fit with the continuing military reorganization in Venezuela under Mr. Chávez.

The changes emphasize large civilian reserve forces, which bypass the traditional military chain of command and report directly to Mr. Chávez and could become the core of a domestic guerrilla force if Venezuela were invaded.

“Obviously, what he has in mind is some sort of urban, guerrilla war against an invading force, and the model for that is Iraq,” Mr. Joyce said.

Venezuela has purchased 100,000 AK-103s, a modern Kalashnikov rifle that shares much of the underlying design of the original AK-47. With Russian technical assistance, the country is also planning to build a plant to produce its own Kalashnikov line and a second plant to make the ammunition that Kalashnikovs fire.

These contracts do not defy any sanctions and are legal. But they also drew criticism in Washington, which has expressed worry that Mr. Chávez’s government was buying more weapons than it needed and could distribute weapons to South American guerrillas or terrorists.

Mr. Joyce noted that Venezuela had long been accused of providing weapons to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, a large and heavily equipped Marxist group that the State Department classifies as a foreign terrorist organization. Venezuela has disputed those allegations.

Washington’s concerns about Mr. Chávez led to a suspension of United States arms sales to Venezuela in 2006. Mr. Chávez has scoffed at the suspension and negotiated equipment purchases from Russia, including military jets, helicopters, rifles and, potentially, submarines.

The Venezuelan Embassy in Moscow declined several requests since last week for an interview about the latest proposed contract, details of which were discussed last week by officials at Izhmash.

On a tour last week of the factory where Kalashnikov and Dragunov rifles were being assembled, Vladimir V. Farafoshin, a deputy director at Izhmash, said that the full order of 100,000 AK-103s had been manufactured and delivered to Venezuela, and that Russia was negotiating the sale of “about 5,000” Dragunovs as part of a separate arms deal.

New Dragunov rifles were being assembled nearby as he spoke, although their destination was not clear.

Vladimir P. Grodetsky, the general director at Izhmash, expressed satisfaction with the contracts with Venezuela, saying that the country was a reliable partner that made its scheduled payments regularly and on time.

The gun manufacturing lines at Izhmash, which were almost halted after the collapse of the Soviet Union, have increased production in recent years. The contracts with Venezuela are its largest foreign sales that are publicly known.
"if he was to be hanged for it, he told his brother, he could not accuse a man whom he believed had meant well, and whose error was one of judgment, not of intention"
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Offline Technoviking

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Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
« Reply #88 on: December 02, 2007, 18:43:32 »
I didn't want to start a new topic, because I feel the title for this thread is rather appropriate. 
http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2007/12/02/venezuela.html
To combat double-digit inflation, the government controls the prices of many of the most basic items, and producers are taking a loss to supply the public with food.
Grocer Alberto Cabral said it's also difficult to get soap, detergent, tomato sauce and mayonnaise. The situation has been critical for six months, he said.
"Before, the people were happy," Cabral said. "They had a lot of money. They ate well — but in these last few months, life is getting pretty difficult."
Cabral said his family market has been in business for 50 years and has never lived through so many shortages at once.
After queuing up for food, Ruiz put her ration of one litre of liquid milk and one can of powdered milk in her car, a vehicle that only costs about one dollar to fill up with gas.
"We have oil, but we don't have food," she said. "And you can't eat oil."
Last week, tens of thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Caracas to protest against the referendum. Elias Matt, a former legislator who took part in the protest, said Chavez is holding the vote in a bid to impose totalitarianism.


It will be interesting to see what happens if Hugo's wishes for God-like powers fail in the referendum...
So, there I was....

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Venezuela in Turmo
« Reply #89 on: December 02, 2007, 19:48:21 »
It may be more interesting to see the response once he GETS his 'god-like powers' and comes a cropper.

He alone will be responsible for the lack of milk and toilet paper.

Venezuela in Turmoil: The Continuing Saga - Brought to you by Tide.
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

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Offline Technoviking

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Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
« Reply #90 on: December 02, 2007, 21:58:18 »
Government claims victory.  Quel surprise...(IMHO)
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20071202/chavez_vote_071202/20071202?hub=TopStories
If confirmed, the victory would allow Chavez to run for office as many times as he wants, strengthening his grip on the oil-rich country of 26 million people.

And this guy calls GW Bush a devil?  Sounds like he's going for personal power, vice the good of the nation, which apparently worked well enough without him under the constitution.  But that's just me...

So, there I was....

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
« Reply #91 on: December 03, 2007, 23:51:24 »
Well, I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised - as well as being reminded about waiting until all the results are in.

Quote
Venezuela's Chavez loses 'president-for-life' vote
IAN JAMES

Associated Press

December 3, 2007 at 2:36 AM EST

CARACAS — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez suffered a stunning defeat Monday in a referendum that would have let him run for re-election indefinitely and impose a socialist system in this major U.S. oil provider.

Voters rejected the sweeping measures Sunday by a vote of 51 per cent to 49 per cent, said Tibisay Lucena, chief of the National Electoral Council. She said that with 88 per cent of the votes counted, the trend was irreversible.

Opposition supporters shouted with joy as Ms. Lucena announced the results on national television early Monday, their first victory against Mr. Chavez after nine years of electoral defeats.

Some broke down in tears. Others began chanting: “And now he's going away!” ...


I wouldn't count on him going away just yet though.
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

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Offline Flip

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Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
« Reply #92 on: December 04, 2007, 11:33:41 »
Quote
The ever combative Mr. Chavez had warned opponents ahead of the vote he would not tolerate attempts to incite violence, and threatened to cut off oil exports to the United States if Washington interfered.

Kirkhill, You missed the best part!
It's weird - the hyperbole out of this guy......
If he catches a cold or crabs it'll be an American plot.....

And if he did cut off exports?
No American dollars? I wonder if the Chinese would be looking for a better price.
I shake my head.
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Venezuela in Turmoil
« Reply #93 on: December 10, 2007, 00:51:50 »
The Economist seems to be a bit more hopeful that President Chavez is running out his string.   A couple of very interesting articles.

Defeat for Hugo Chávez
The wind goes out of the revolution
Dec 6th 2007 | CARACAS
From The Economist print edition

Venezuelans have seen the future—and many of them realise that it doesn't work.....



The beginning of the end for Hugo Chávez
Dec 6th 2007
From The Economist print edition

Apathy, splits and a revitalised opposition thwart “21st-century socialism”....


The overall message is that in a voting population of 11.6 million 7.3 million voted for him in 2006 but only 4.4 million voted with him in 2007.  The opposition held roughly constant at  4.3 million in 2006 and 4.5 million in 2007.  The difference was the 2.9 million or so that sat on their hands this time. 

The reasons include, in addition to principle: loss of confidence in Hugo as inflation rises to 21% and empty stores (no cooking oil and beans and fights resulting); a programme that would have eliminated avenues for progression by the ambitious.

The Economist sees Ecuador's Correa backpedalling, Bolivia's Morales struggling and Cuba's Castro losing his last hope of a backer for his impoverished little island. 

On the other hand I would point out that Chavez still has another 5 years in power.  That makes him a problem for the next US President as well. 

It is interesting that there seems to be a "mobile" population between the two poles of the Chavistas of the Barrios and the Old Guard.



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Offline Mr.Newf

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Chavez: Colombia planning 'aggression'
« Reply #94 on: January 25, 2008, 21:06:12 »
Chavez: Colombia planning 'aggression'

Quote
CARACAS, Venezuela - President Hugo Chavez on Friday accused Colombia and the United States of plotting a military "aggression" against Venezuela.

"A military aggression is being prepared from Colombia against Venezuela by the United States," Chavez said. He warned Colombia not to attempt "a provocation against Venezuela" and said his country would cut off all oil exports in the event of a military strike from the neighboring country.

Chavez did not offer evidence to support his claim. He has repeatedly accused the United States of plotting to oust him or kill him, though it was the first time he has accused Colombia's U.S.-allied government in such strident terms.

"I accuse the government of Colombia of devising a conspiracy, acting as a pawn of the U.S. empire, of devising a military provocation against Venezuela," Chavez said.

He made the accusation just as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was visiting Colombia, saying she and two other senior American officials who have visited in Bogota recently "came to attack Venezuela" in their remarks. Rice did not mention Chavez during her earlier statements in Colombia.

Colombian presidential spokesman Cesar Mauricio Velasquez said his government had no immediate comment.

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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Chavez: Colombia planning 'aggression'
« Reply #95 on: January 27, 2008, 01:15:23 »
In an interesting chapter of Imperial Grunts, Robert Kaplan visits the border region between Columbia and Venezuela, where the Colombians face sabotage against their oil production and flood the region with fake documents (often given without question to Middle Eastern "tourists").

I think the plotting of aggression is indeed going on, just the writer has mixed up the countries. Anyway, plotting or executing aggression against neighboring states is a classic ploy to distract from troubles at home........................
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: Chavez: Colombia planning 'aggression'
« Reply #96 on: January 27, 2008, 14:56:21 »
To quote Spain's King Juan Carlos to Chavez, "why don't you just shut up?"
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Offline S.M.A.

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Re: Chavez: Colombia planning 'aggression'
« Reply #97 on: January 27, 2008, 17:14:59 »
To quote Spain's King Juan Carlos to Chavez, "why don't you just shut up?"

Exactly. Chavez will never be able to live that down.  ;D

Here's a little link to one of the many parodies of Chavez's little outburst at that conference, where King Juan Carlos says "Por que no te callas?" to respond to him. To think Chavez had the nerve to actually call one of the former Spanish leaders a "Fascista" (A Fascist).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5cZFinVFubQ&feature=related

« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 17:24:48 by CougarDaddy »
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"A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves."   - Lao Zi (老子)
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Offline Mr.Newf

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Reports: Venezuela to buy subs from Russia
« Reply #98 on: April 04, 2008, 20:53:57 »
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MOSCOW, Russia (AP) -- Russia expects to sell at least three submarines to Venezuela in a deal to be inked when President Hugo Chavez visits next month, Russian news media reported Friday.

The Interfax news agency and the daily Kommersant cited unnamed military-industrial officials as saying that the subs would be diesel-electric models, of the Varshavyanka class.

"As of today, work to prepare the contract has practically been completed. The contract's signing will likely be timed with the visit of ... Chavez to Moscow, which is expected in May," the official was quoted as saying by Interfax.

A spokesman for state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport had no comment; no one answered the phones at the Venezuelan Embassy in Moscow.

Meanwhile, the daily Kommersant said Venezuela was seeking four submarines in all at a cost of $1 billion. The newspaper also quoted Deputy Finance Minister Dmitry Pankin as confirming talks on a $800 million loan from Russia for the purchase were also under way.

The paper said the deal would be signed when Chavez travels to Moscow for the inauguration of incoming President Dmitry Medvedev.

During a visit to Russia last year, Chavez said that his country needs submarines to protect itself against its enemies -- foremost among them the United States.

At that time, a top Rosoboronexport official said discussions centered on as many as five so-called "Project 636" Varshavyanka submarines.

The ships, known in NATO terms as Kilo-class, are Russia's most advanced non-nuclear submarine. China, India and Iran, among others, have all purchased the subs in recent years.

Caracas already has purchased some $3 billion worth of arms from Russia, including military helicopters, Kalashnikov rifles and Sukhoi fighter jets.

Kommersant said Venezuela also was negotiating to buy 12 Il-76 military transport aircraft.
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Offline xo31@711ret

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Re: Reports: Venezuela to buy subs from Russia
« Reply #99 on: April 05, 2008, 01:10:55 »
..and I remember thinking after the Wall came tumbling down...maybe the world will be a more peaceful place...how naive I was